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Does fluency involve an "epiphany moment"

  Tags: Epiphany | Fluency
 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
47 messages over 6 pages: 1 2 3 4 5
Liface
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 Message 41 of 47
25 November 2008 at 9:42pm | IP Logged 
wharrgarbl wrote:
In Mexico I met a guy who spoke three or four languages, and he told me that you know you're fluent in another language when you start having dreams in that language.

So that's probably sort of an "epiphany moment".


I think this is false. I know a lot of people, myself included, who dreamt in a foreign language long before they were fluent.
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wharrgarbl
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 Message 42 of 47
25 November 2008 at 10:01pm | IP Logged 
Liface wrote:
wharrgarbl wrote:
In Mexico I met a guy who spoke three or four languages, and he told me that you know you're fluent in another language when you start having dreams in that language.

So that's probably sort of an "epiphany moment".


I think this is false. I know a lot of people, myself included, who dreamt in a foreign language long before they were fluent.


I'm sure it's different for everyone.

But I don't know, I haven't gotten to that point in any language yet.
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hypersport
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 Message 43 of 47
25 November 2008 at 10:30pm | IP Logged 
I think there are moments along the way that really show you you're getting it. I wouldn't say there's one moment where all of a sudden you realize you're fluent.

I think when you get to the point that you can casually talk to a stranger about a number of different subjects with minimal effort, maybe you'll start to think of yourself as fluent, even though you know that you still have a long way to go.

Fluency can have very different meanings for a lot of different people.

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Iversen
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 Message 44 of 47
26 November 2008 at 3:28am | IP Logged 
Maybe there is a difference between step-by-step learners and holistic learners. If you learn step by step then there are always a certain number of things you can say, and the circle just widens and widens without any noticeable breaks. With holistic learners who takes their input from all over the language, the result may not be useable for a long time, but at some point there are so many bits and pieces in the collection that the whole process of decoding or encoding suddenly runs smoothly, and that's felt as an an epiphany moment.
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Sunja
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 Message 45 of 47
26 November 2008 at 9:30am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
With holistic learners who takes their input from all over the language, the result may not be useable for a long time, but at some point there are so many bits and pieces in the collection that the whole process of decoding or encoding suddenly runs smoothly, and that's felt as an an epiphany moment.


I'm still waiting!

Actually I only have one foreign language that I'm really good at. I don't remember having any such moment. I suppose because I'm completely immersed in it. I don't remember what it's like not to be fluent, although I remember feeling frustrated because there were soooo many gaps!

Now I have good days and bad days. In some conversations with friends everything works: accent is good, metaphors are right on target, quick to respond, etc. I guess that would be "epiphany". Unfortunately there are also those days when speech fails me. So for every moment of revelation that I have there's always a dozen brain lapses that are bound to follow!


Edited by Sunja on 26 November 2008 at 9:50am

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Ruan
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 Message 46 of 47
29 November 2008 at 6:50am | IP Logged 
Language is a mess of meaningless noises. We don't learn content, we learn structure.
And, until you assemble all of it, it won't make any sense.

After my epiphany happened, people say I'm not the same person anymore.
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William Camden
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 Message 47 of 47
05 December 2008 at 2:38pm | IP Logged 
One epiphany for me with German was about halfway through my stay in the country when I was at university. I found, fairly suddenly, that I could understand TV sitcoms. Before that, I could really only understand the TV news.

With Turkish, I started to be able to talk directly to Turkish speakers, rather than look around for an English speaker to translate. Epiphany is perhaps putting it too strongly but I suddenly stopped being dependent on a translator to communicate.


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